Public Charge Policy

Hello, my name is Andres Martinez, Immigration attorney here at Bailey and Galyen. Today, I want to talk to you about the new Public Charge policy taking effect on October 15 of this year.

This new policy will make it more difficult for individuals applying for Adjustment of Status to obtain their permanent resident card. The Department of Homeland Security will be able to take into consideration many factors of an applicant’s life to determine if they are worthy of becoming a US resident, such factors include: the applicant’s age, health, education level, English-speaking ability, the applicant’s credit score, whether or not they’ve filed taxes, financial status, size of family, skills and employment, among others. Moreover, the new rule will define a public charge as a person who receives any number of public benefits for more than a total of 12 months over any 36-month period of time. Such public benefits include Medicaid, SNAP, Section 8 housing, and cash aid such as TANF and SSI.

Remember that this new rule will mainly impact those seeking permanent resident status through family member petitions. It does not affect individuals who are already residents who are trying to naturalize.

Please come see us so we can discuss this new law and the effects on your case.